View Full Version : Friendship between the sexes

02-18-2003, 10:24 PM
What makes it, what breaks it?

I just got an e-mail from a gal who I was very close to, in a completely Platonic way. Romantic urges were there on her part but never encouraged or taken advantage of by me. Because of physical distance, we haven't seen much of each other, but at one time I really liked her. I helped her schlep stuff to the moon and back (ain't owning a pickup truck grand?) I always talked with her as earnestly and honestly as I'm capable--a lot.

I recently tried to re-establish a connection, and basically got shot all to hell.

I know, I know, I've answered my own question. She was romantically involved, and I wasn't.

Anyone have any wisdom to offer? smile.gif


ken mcclure
02-18-2003, 10:26 PM
You want friendship find a like-minded guy or, better yet, a good dog.

02-18-2003, 10:34 PM
Ken -

Why do you think true friendship isn't doable between the sexes?


Mr. Know It All
02-18-2003, 10:48 PM
I think it depends on the person Ish. I grew up with sisters and have many female friends where I work too, so I guess it's possible for me. Mutual respect always helps a relationship on any level. Good Luck and hang in there.
Peace---> Kevin in Ohio

ken mcclure
02-18-2003, 10:51 PM
Because we are too different, Lisa. Different thought processes, different priorities and different modes of expression. Inevitably one or both parties in a M-F relationship realizes at some level that the only point where we truly communicate is sex - and then the friendship goes out the window. :D

02-18-2003, 10:54 PM
wisdom about men/women or commentary on the scenario you gave?

02-18-2003, 11:02 PM
Seems to depend on the people. My work and community have brought me many friendships with men but sometimes its just not comfortable. Ish, calling a woman a "gal" is a bit dated. Does that indicate anything about how you see women? Or not. smile.gif

02-18-2003, 11:04 PM
Jeeez Ish! Stop obsessing, get in yer car, go visit, sleep with her a few times, leave..... It's a simple lesson in human nature.

02-18-2003, 11:06 PM

Am I old fashioned, or just unwilling to let go of perfectly good words? What am I supposed to call her, a guy? ;)


However you wish. I think they are often inseperable.

Mr. Know It All
02-18-2003, 11:16 PM
"Gal" is a friendly word even if it is outdated and I use it all the time. Nobody seems to mind. I guess I'm outdated too.

[ 02-18-2003, 11:18 PM: Message edited by: Mr. Know It All ]

Peter Malcolm Jardine
02-18-2003, 11:21 PM
Jack, I have a few female friends, and our friendship has had many dimensions... sometimes we've been lovers, sometimes business partners, sometimes just friends to hang with when you're single or not. One thing I know for sure. I don't know anything about women. Once I discovered that, I didn't try to figure them out anymore, and holy jumping jehovah, I seemed to have better relationships with them.

I find women, for the most part, to be more emotionally in tune with each other, better grounded to the real world, and more compassionate and selfless than men. Men end up getting all self absorbed in the male persona long enough that a crust forms that never really goes away.

"A man's soul is rocky ground, Louis..
he sows what he can, and tends it"
-from Stephen King's
Pet Cemetery

Ultimately, when a man finally grows up enough to live with himself, and all of his own shortcomings and faults,and still feel some serenity with that, he's ready to live with a woman....and women have been forgiving us for a long time. If a friendship with a woman doesn't go smoothly, ask yourself how you treated the relationship... look deep, and see if you'd be happy with the same treatment. I've usually found that women who manipulate and twist and turn you round and round have been treated badly by a man a long time before they got to you, and are disillusioned for it. Facing up to the responsibility of this world belonging to men... then trying to change that a little... is hard work I think. I just hope I leave the world a little fairer for my attitude.Understanding women? Why would I want to... the mystery of them is too sweet,too intoxicating and too perfect to destroy by understanding them.

Remember, I live in a house where only Merlin and I are male. :D ;)

[ 02-18-2003, 11:23 PM: Message edited by: Peter Malcolm Jardine ]

02-18-2003, 11:27 PM
I don't find the word gal offensive, but maybe I'm dated.


02-18-2003, 11:43 PM
A little background. My friend suffered terribly as a girl. How many women have been prostituted by their own fathers? I befriended her, because we both needed friends. She's very smart, and has a certain wisdom, born of hard experience.

I guess I shouldn't be suprised at her fickle nature--no, not suprised at all.

It made me cry when she first told me her story, and still does. Why would I expect her to have anything but problematic relations with men? Because I drew a line around romance and sex, I thought a friendship could blossom, and it did, just not as I imagined.

Such horrific wounds are almost unspeakable.

Mr. Know It All
02-18-2003, 11:43 PM
What Pete said. :D

Mr. Know It All
02-18-2003, 11:56 PM
Thats her cross to bare Jack, sometimes we can help lighten the load, sometimes not. When you get to be our age everyone has some scars and warts. About the time you "give up" and decide you don't need anyone to be happy, you'll find the perfect mate. Happens every time. Trust me.....after all I'm Mr. Know it All. :D

02-19-2003, 12:29 AM

It's the old "you want to be friends line".

At one time she wanted more, perhaps still does.

I have friends who are women. But I have never ever figured out how to be just friends when one or the other side wants more. It just doesn't work.

However, you can be friends and lovers. My best friend is my wife.


Ian G Wright
02-19-2003, 02:39 AM
Women as friends,,,,,,,,,, friends who are women eh? Is this a new American idea? Can't see it catching on over here. What would you talk about?


Scott Rosen
02-19-2003, 07:39 AM
Originally posted by Ian G Wright:
Women as friends,,,,,,,,,, friends who are women eh? Is this a new American idea? Can't see it catching on over here. What would you talk about?

IanW.Amen. Wait . . . on second thought . . . my Labrador Retriever is a female, and she's one of my very best friends.

Joe (SoCal)
02-19-2003, 09:13 AM
Oy Ish rent the movie When Harry met Sally its all explained there.
Me, personally, before I was married I slept with every female Friend I met . It just happened. Sometimes they had more of a romantic feeling for me sometimes I had more of a romantic feeling for them (romantic read LUST ). In the end the friendship bit the dust.

Ish I have emailed ya what ya need to do and it requires you putting the books and the computer and dog at home and go out to a local watering hole and get a drink and wink at a cute girl, say hi my name is Jack and have some fun :D Quit mining your past especialy with this one she sounds like she has the Louis Viton baggage set or other men's woman GO OUT

[ 02-19-2003, 09:18 AM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]

02-19-2003, 09:21 AM
I can't help Ish, but I had two pieces of advise for my sons: Sex is a powerful force, and If you park don't drink, accidents cause people.

Ian G Wright
02-19-2003, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by Scott Rosen:
[QB my Labrador Retriever is a female, and she's one of my very best friends.[/QB]Well yes, Misty the Border Collie also,,,,, but face it, dogs is dogs, and know what a real friend should be.

IanW :cool:

Wild Dingo
02-19-2003, 09:54 AM
Ive never had any problem with being just freinds with my female friends non at all... often I end up with a problem with my female freinds but more often than not it relates to outdated word usage thought to be condescension wich it aint but that tends to do them in... I like to think if your pretty straight with the female friends they are pretty straight with you... baggage is a different matter all together! Everyone male of female comes into a relationship with baggage its their baggage but its so easy to make it spill out and so in even a small way it becomes your baggage...

I like to think that Ive got a friend relationship with most of the female friends ive met both in life and here... why one female friend on here once told me she was goin to treat me like a big sis... I mean cant get much freindlier than that can yer?? HA!! another got upset I think at some of the old words I use like "me dear" and "sheila" but well so its the way I speak never mind they cant handle it tough!

But for your instance Jack Peter hits it and so does Mrleft8 {I will add perhaps not sleep with her! Just show her your still there for her} IF your friendship from before means anything to her she will sit and talk with you and so starts the freindship all over again. the again why does MKIA always seem to flamin well know it all mmmmmm??? :D hes also right... as is Lisa and big sis Jo!... listen to the wimmins Jack they are always right... why? Cause they says so! tongue.gif

Actually they are but hey we wont tell em that they get all excitable when we say theyre right so its best to not let on! :D oooohh ****e I told em eh?? damn now Im gonna have to go talk boats again!

What was that song from a few years back?? Hammer or somthing sang it?? Dont worry be happy... tis true my friend stop worrying about whether theyre going to like you and hey presto amazingly they will!! :D

Bruce Hooke
02-19-2003, 10:29 AM
Yes, Ish, I think you hit it right on in your third post. I had an upstairs neigbor with a similar past (various forms of physical abuse from her father, but no sexual abuse that she told me about). Her relationships with men were always stormy -- things would go along fine and then she would suddenly explode and start screaming at the man and treating him as lower than the lowest worm that ever churned the earth. The only advice I can offer is to encourage you to remember that it's not about you, it's about her, so you shouldn't feel like there is something wrong with you. It could be that if you contacted her again the story would be completely different, or it could be that she has for some completely unreasonable reason decided that you are the scum of the earth. Just remember that you are doing your best to be kind to her, and you can rightly take pride in that, even if she doesn't see it that way.

John of Phoenix
02-19-2003, 10:57 AM
If I read you correctly, she had romantic notions when you were occupied, the you had the hots for her and she was occupied, now you're both available and you're not sure what to do. Is that right?

I'd think she has some major issues to deal with regarding her male parent. That's very sad.

02-19-2003, 12:00 PM
If I read you correctly, she had romantic notions when you were occupied, the you had the hots for her and she was occupied, now you're both available and you're not sure what to do. Is that right? John,

I wasn't very clear. I wasn't attracted to her romantically, or even physically, not because I was involved elsewhere (I wasn't), but just because.

For the "just go have sex, with her or someone :D , crowd", I've been there, and done that. Came of age at the height of the "sexual revolution". The thought of picking up a complete stranger and having sex seems absurd to me now.

It's interesting to hear the divergent opinions about whether a Platonic closeness is possible. I think in this case, probably not. But I've had that kind of closeness with women before. I'm trying to remember is any weren't lesbian. :D

Take care everyone. It would be interesting to hear more, especially from the gals. smile.gif


02-19-2003, 12:26 PM
What makes it, what breaks it?
depends on what YOU mean by *"it".

Anyone have any wisdom to offer?

* "it" a relationship based on met needs? sex, comfort, companionship, complementary nuerosi, money, self image, etc.
Some folks have pretty wild needs for comfort,,like comfortable in abuse, neglect, substance abuse etc. Mess with those needs and the "relationship" is threatened. Which may be a good thing.

02-19-2003, 12:29 PM
"it",,,then again a relationship based on unmet needs works too.

02-19-2003, 03:18 PM
Unmet expectations of the other don't help such friendships continue, but I'm inclined to think what really dooms most of them are third parties asking questions about them.

Some of them work out fine, with or without sex, but it's rare.

02-19-2003, 03:27 PM
I do have friends that are male, purely on a friendship basis. It is true that third parties at one time or another have assumed I'm sleeping with them, and I'm not. Why would I want to ruin a perfectly good friendship by sleeping with them?


Joe (SoCal)
02-19-2003, 03:37 PM
Lisa the HmS (Harry met Sally) equation works in all circumstances. If 2 people of the opposite sex are not involved with anyone and are Friends there is one that has contemplated taking the relationship to the next level. In ALL male / female relationships there is sexual tension. If no lines or boundaries are set up things will proceed in the natural tendency - ie Romantic / Sexual. The male friends you speak of you are not attracted to or they are not attracted to you. If you are mutually not attracted to each other then hmmmm what's the attraction to be friends? See the same reasons your attracted to them as friends lends itself for them or you to be attracted to them romantically. I personally am sexually / romantically attracted to my best friend ...... my wife :D

02-19-2003, 04:52 PM
Maybe I'm being naive, and if so, so be it, but I still believe that men and women can be friends without sex entering into the equation. These people I speak of are people that I've counted as friends for years and years, and the fact that I'm now a widow shouldn't have to change that one bit.


02-19-2003, 05:31 PM

I agree with you. I to have longtime friends that are female. Perhaps the fact that I have been married the whole timen I've known them changes the equation but I like to believe that we can rise above the instinctual level in relationships.


02-19-2003, 05:51 PM
Lisa, I don't think you are naive,,your equation and Joes are obviously different, both congruent to who you are but entirely different equations.

02-19-2003, 05:57 PM
whb,,I wonder if what "dooms them" is simply that they began with a short shelf life. Maybe I'm twisting what you're saying, but everyone has some unmet needs but if a person is able enter into the relationship with unmet expectations as a given (disguised as hope) then that shortens things up a lot,,or at least untill the kids get older or there's no societal expectation holding them together.

02-19-2003, 06:51 PM
Could be, could be


ken mcclure
02-19-2003, 06:57 PM
I should probably amend my comments by stating that these opinions are based on my own experience. I have had women friends in the past, and some of those friendships have been delightful.

Every friendship has, however, dissipated over the years. And each time, there was always a period of sexual tension where one or both of us wondered "what it would be like."

If the question is whether there can be a period of friendship without sex, the answer is "yes." But I still think that a true and lasting friendship just can't be done.

Memphis Mike
02-19-2003, 07:03 PM
Friendship between the sexes? The girl that
cuts my hair is a lesbian and married......
to a man who is gay. They both love each
other very much.

Oh yeah...and they both knew of each others
sexual orientation when they got married.

[ 02-19-2003, 07:06 PM: Message edited by: Memphis Mike ]

02-19-2003, 08:02 PM
Friendship between sexes. this may be a dated veiw but it seems to me that men tend to form longer lasting friendships when I was asked to list references and they asked me the number or years we had known each other two were 35 years since second grade and another was 32. it was a long time before I met any lady who had had a friendship as long as 10 years

I met a lady from tennesse in 1979 at the international science fair we are still friends and I think she has one female friend from highschool we have met only once ( 1981 since then but have talked for hours on the phone she has been romanticly involved with people as have I now I'm married and she has shelved the whole idea of marrage. ( doesn't apriciate when I offer to have her be my second wife , tells me her methodest church does not aprove of my fundimentalest Morman outlook...

I think that had we been seeing each other in person the tension and jelously of the wanting by the one who was single while the other was occupied wouth have torn things up. and had a time worked out when we were both lonely I think the friendship would have gone ahead into marrage

Pearl S Buck was born to missionary parrents in china. when it comes to marrage. she has written that it isn't so much the right person as the right time and somewhat axxcepting the best avaible candidate.

There is so much instinctive drive intruding on what ever mental choices we say we desire. I still deeply love my last girl friend who I dated for three years we shared so very much in common including our great love for women I still after being apart for 5 years ( have only seen her once in dec 1999 since she moved away sept 23 97) I wonder how I would react and so have not seeked her out even having visited las vegas a half dozen times ...

then their is the way mens and womans brains work it is a truth that when women talk they are doing so to air out a sitiuation even to goup thinking out lould and clairifieing in their own mind and gathering suport from friends while men they hear about some thing and their is a natural triger to solve or fix and it really gets in the way of mens actually listening.

just some thoughts

Memphis Mike
02-19-2003, 08:20 PM
"Pearl S Buck was born to missionary parrents in china. when it comes to marrage. she has written that it isn't so much the right person as the right time and somewhat axxcepting the best avaible candidate."

Pearl S. Buck traveled to China which later
inspired "The Good Earth." She was born
in Hillsboro, West Virginia.

[ 02-19-2003, 08:34 PM: Message edited by: Memphis Mike ]

02-20-2003, 09:02 AM
mea cupa
it was my understanding that Pearl Buck spent much of her growing up years in china and assumed that she had been born over there.